Official Music Video: Words, by Ane Brun

Posted from: Blaenau Gwent NP23, UK

Words, take her with you
Let her rest in your rhyme
Words, take her away
Somewhere, beyond time

Words, ease her breathing
Lay her softly on the floor
There, let her linger
And listen like ever before

Leave her windows uncovered at night
And fill her room with the city lights
As they illuminate the sky
It reminds her of the people outside
Cause she won’t sleep unless she heals her loneliness

Walk with her beneath the tree tops
Create new paths and memories
Show her, how the sunlight
Glances through the gaps between the leaves

Words, help her change the world
In only one verse
Tell her to reach for the stars
And to always put love first

Leave her windows uncovered at night
And fill her room with the city lights
As they illuminate the sky
It reminds her of the people outside
It reminds her of the people
It reminds her of the people
It reminds her of the people outside

Autumn in Literature

Posted from: Vale of Glamorgan CF64, UK

William Shakespeare personified autumn in Sonnet 73:

“That time of year thou mayst in me behold

When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang

Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,

William Blake – “O autumn laden with fruit” – and John Keats with his “Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness”  both wrote odes “To Autumn”.

In the simply-titled “Autumn” John Clare noted “The summer-flower has run to seed / And yellow is the woodland bough / And every leaf of bush and weed / Is tipt with autumn’s pencil now”.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning told us in “The Autumn” that “Waving woods and waters wild / Do hymn an autumn sound”, while a poet she influenced, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, wrote “Know’st thou not at the fall of the leaf / How the heart feels a languid grief” in “Autumn Song”. 

Some of these celebrate the maturing year while others mourn its aging. It’s a matter of state of mind and art.

The less familiar Anglo-Welsh poet Edward Thomas also addressed the theme of falling leaves and an end of things in his more month-specific poem “October”:

“The green elm with the one great bough of gold 

Lets leaves into the grass slip, one by one, – 

The short hill grass, the mushrooms small milk-white, 

Harebell and scabious and tormentil, 

That blackberry and gorse, in dew and sun, 

Bow down to; and the wind travels too light 

To shake the fallen birch leaves from the fern…”

But leave it to Edgar Allan Poe in “Ululame” most mournfully to use the month as a metaphor for sorrow and loss, particularly referencing the death of a woman – a subject distressingly close to Poe:

“The skies they were ashen and sober;

The leaves they were crisped and sere – 

The leaves they were withering and sere;

It was night in the lonesome October

Of my most immemorial year….”

There are more optimistic opinions of October, of course. Helen Hunt Jackson (1830-1885) reckoned that “Suns and skies and clouds of June / And flowers of June together / ye cannot rival for one hour / October’s bright blue weather”.  

The great bucolic New England poet Robert Frost seemed to have mixed feelings in “October”, concentrating on the stillness and maturation of the month, the gradual shortening of the days and the almost teasing, nature of the slow turn towards winter, beseeching the month to keep the harsher weather at bay: 

“O hushed October morning mild,

Begin the hours of this day slow.

Make the day seem to us less brief.

Hearts not averse to being beguiled,

Beguile us in the way you know.

Release one leaf at break of day;

But to end on a thoroughly cheery note, here are words from “Old October” by a poet from the American Midwest, James Whitcomb Riley (1849-1916). He was known as the “Hoosier Poet”, often writing in Indiana dialect which we can follow well enough.  

Like Edward Thomas he cites the elm tree in the first few lines:

“Old October’s purt’ nigh gone,

And the frosts is comin’ on

Little HEAVIER every day–

Like our hearts is thataway!

Leaves is changin’ overhead

Back from green to gray and red,

Brown and yeller, with their stems

Loosenin’ on the oaks and e’ms;

And the balance of the trees

Gittin’ balder every breeze–

Like the heads we’re scratchin’ on!

Old October’s purt’ nigh gone.”

But Riley is not lamenting the onset of October, rather its ending, likening this to the departure of a friend. Hickory nuts falling, he suggests, are the sound of tears falling at the sadness of this departure:

"I love Old October so,

I can’t bear to see her go–

Seems to me like losin’ some

Old-home relative er chum–

‘Pears like sorto’ settin’ by

Some old friend ‘at sigh by sigh

Was a-passin’ out o’ sight

Into everlastin’ night!

Hickernuts a feller hears

Rattlin’ down is more like tears

Drappin’ on the leaves below–

I love Old October so!”

John Vance Cheney: Tears & The Happiest Heart

Posted from: Vale of Glamorgan CF64, UK

Tears (1892)

  • Not in the time of pleasure
    Hope doth set her bow;
    But in the sky of sorrow,
    Over the vale of woe.

    Through gloom and shadow look we
    On beyond the years!
    The soul would have no rainbow
    Had the eyes no tears.

    • The Century Vol. 44, Issue 4 (August 1892)

The Happiest Heart

  • Who drives the horses of the sun
    Shall lord it but a day;
    Better the lowly deed were done,
    And kept the humble way.
  • The rust will find the sword of fame,
    The dust will hide the crown;
    Ay, none shall nail so high his name
    Time will not tear it down.
  • The happiest heart that ever beat
    Was in some quiet breast
    That found the common daylight sweet,
    And left to Heaven the rest.

Writers & Artists in Residence Project

If you are interested in joining rycariad’s Writers & Artists in Residence Project, I would LOVE to hear from you. I’m looking for writers of any material and of any ability to create and submit their work online. Whether you write poetry, songs, short stories, spiritual teachings or inspirational pieces, I would love you to share your work with us and become a ‘featured contributor’
I would also love to hear from artists and photographers who would be willing to use rycariad.co.uk as a creative outlet. Whether you paint, draw, sculpt, or create in any media, I’d love to showcase your work. 

Being a ‘Featured Contributor’ is really easy. Almost as easy as sending a simple email! Just drop me a line on rycariad@gmail.com and I’ll do the rest!
Hope to hear from you soon!

Poetry: Impossible to Tell

Slow dulcimer, gavotte and bow, in autumn, 
Bash› and his friends go out to view the moon; 
In summer, gasoline rainbow in the gutter, The secret courtesy that courses like ichor 
Through the old form of the rude, full-scale joke, 
Impossible to tell in writing. “Bash›” He named himself, “Banana Tree”: banana 
After the plant some grateful students gave him, 
Maybe in appreciation of his guidance Threading a long night through the rules and channels 
Of their collaborative linking-poem 
Scored in their teacher’s heart: live, rigid, fluid 

Like passages etched in a microscopic cicuit. 
Elliot had in his memory so many jokes 
They seemed to breed like microbes in a culture Inside his brain, one so much making another 
It was impossible to tell them all: 
In the court-culture of jokes, a top banana. Imagine a court of one: the queen a young mother, 
Unhappy, alone all day with her firstborn child 
And her new baby in a squalid apartment Of too few rooms, a different race from her neighbors. 
She tells the child she’s going to kill herself. 
She broods, she rages. Hoping to distract her, 

The child cuts capers, he sings, he does imitations 
Of different people in the building, he jokes, 
He feels if he keeps her alive until the father Gets home from work, they’ll be okay till morning. 
It’s laughter versus the bedroom and the pills. 
What is he in his efforts but a courtier? Impossible to tell his whole delusion. 
In the first months when I had moved back East 
From California and had to leave a message On Bob’s machine, I used to make a habit 
Of telling the tape a joke; and part-way through, 
I would pretend that I forgot the punchline, 

Or make believe that I was interrupted— 
As though he’d be so eager to hear the end 
He’d have to call me back. The joke was Elliot’s, More often than not. The doctors made the blunder 
That killed him some time later that same year. 
One day when I got home I found a message On my machine from Bob. He had a story 
About two rabbis, one of them tall, one short, 
One day while walking along the street together They see the corpse of a Chinese man before them, 
And Bob said, sorry, he forgot the rest. 
Of course he thought that his joke was a dummy, 

Impossible to tell—a dead-end challenge. 
But here it is, as Elliot told it to me: 
The dead man’s widow came to the rabbis weeping, Begging them, if they could, to resurrect him. 
Shocked, the tall rabbi said absolutely not. 
But the short rabbi told her to bring the body Into the study house, and ordered the shutters 
Closed so the room was night-dark. Then he prayed 
Over the body, chanting a secret blessing Out of Kabala. “Arise and breathe,” he shouted; 
But nothing happened. The body lay still. So then 
The little rabbi called for hundreds of candles 

And danced around the body, chanting and praying 
In Hebrew, then Yiddish, then Aramaic. He prayed 
In Turkish and Egyptian and Old Galician For nearly three hours, leaping about the coffin 
In the candlelight so that his tiny black shoes 
Seemed not to touch the floor. With one last prayer Sobbed in the Spanish of before the Inquisition 
He stopped, exhausted, and looked in the dead man’s face. 
Panting, he raised both arms in a mystic gesture And said, “Arise and breathe!” And still the body 
Lay as before. Impossible to tell 
In words how Elliot’s eyebrows flailed and snorted 

Like shaggy mammoths as—the Chinese widow 
Granting permission—the little rabbi sang 
The blessing for performing a circumcision And removed the dead man’s foreskin, chanting blessings 
In Finnish and Swahili, and bathed the corpse 
From head to foot, and with a final prayer In Babylonian, gasping with exhaustion, 
He seized the dead man’s head and kissed the lips 
And dropped it again and leaping back commanded, ”Arise and breathe!” The corpse lay still as ever. 
At this, as when Bash›’s disciples wind 
Along the curving spine that links the renga 

Across the different voices, each one adding 
A transformation according to the rules 
Of stasis and repetition, all in order And yet impossible to tell beforehand, 
Elliot changes for the punchline: the wee 
Rabbi, still panting, like a startled boxer, Looks at the dead one, then up at all those watching, 
A kind of Mel Brooks gesture: “Hoo boy!” he says, 
“Now that’s what I call really dead.” O mortal Powers and princes of earth, and you immortal 
Lords of the underground and afterlife, 
Jehovah, Raa, Bol-Morah, Hecate, Pluto, 

What has a brilliant, living soul to do with 
Your harps and fires and boats, your bric-a-brac 
And troughs of smoking blood? Provincial stinkers, Our languages don’t touch you, you’re like that mother 
Whose small child entertained her to beg her life. 
Possibly he grew up to be the tall rabbi, The one who washed his hands of all those capers 
Right at the outset. Or maybe he became 
The author of these lines, a one-man renga The one for whom it seems to be impossible 
To tell a story straight. It was a routine 
Procedure. When it was finished the physicians 

Told Sandra and the kids it had succeeded, 
But Elliot wouldn’t wake up for maybe an hour, 
They should go eat. The two of them loved to bicker In a way that on his side went back to Yiddish, 
On Sandra’s to some Sicilian dialect. 
He used to scold her endlessly for smoking. When she got back from dinner with their children 
The doctors had to tell them about the mistake. 
Oh swirling petals, falling leaves! The movement Of linking renga coursing from moment to moment 
Is meaning, Bob says in his Haiku book. 
Oh swirling petals, all living things are contingent, 

Falling leaves, and transient, and they suffer. 
But the Universal is the goal of jokes, 
Especially certain ethnic jokes, which taper Down through the swirling funnel of tongues and gestures 
Toward their preposterous Ithaca. There’s one 
A journalist told me. He heard it while a hero Of the South African freedom movement was speaking 
To elderly Jews. The speaker’s own right arm 
Had been blown off by right-wing letter-bombers. He told his listeners they had to cast their ballots 
For the ANC—a group the old Jews feared 
As “in with the Arabs.” But they started weeping 

As the old one-armed fighter told them their country 
Needed them to vote for what was right, their vote 
Could make a country their children could return to From London and Chicago. The moved old people 
Applauded wildly, and the speaker’s friend 
Whispered to the journalist, “It’s the Belgian Army Joke come to life.” I wish I could tell it 
To Elliot. In the Belgian Army, the feud 
Between the Flemings and Walloons grew vicious, So out of hand the army could barely function. 
Finally one commander assembled his men 
In one great room, to deal with things directly. 

They stood before him at attention. “All Flemings,” 
He ordered, “to the left wall.” Half the men 
Clustered to the left. “Now all Walloons,” he ordered, ”Move to the right.” An equal number crowded 
Against the right wall. Only one man remained 
At attention in the middle: “What are you, soldier?” Saluting, the man said, “Sir, I am a Belgian.” 
“Why, that’s astonishing, Corporal—what’s your name?" 
Saluting again, “Rabinowitz,” he answered: A joke that seems at first to be a story 
About the Jews. But as the renga describes 
Religious meaning by moving in drifting petals 

And brittle leaves that touch and die and suffer 
The changing winds that riffle the gutter swirl, 
So in the joke, just under the raucous music Of Fleming, Jew, Walloon, a courtly allegiance 
Moves to the dulcimer, gavotte and bow, 
Over the banana tree the moon in autumn— Allegiance to a state impossible to tell. 

– Robert Pinsky 
With thanks again to my Brother, 
Oliver Tyler. 

Poetry: The Ballard

He stole away my liberty. 
When my poor heart was strange to men, 
He came and smiled and stole it then.

When my apron would hang low, 
Me he sought through frost and snow. 
When it puckered up with shame, 
And I sought him, he never came.
When summer brought no fears to fright, 
He came to guard me every night. 
When winter nights did darkly prove, 
None came to guard me or to love.

I wish, I wish, but all in vain, 
I wish I was a maid again. 
A maid again I cannot be, 
O when will green grass cover me?
By John Clare
With Thanks to my Brother Oliver Tyler

The Lovers, by Abu Nuwas (Persia) Circa 800 A.D.

Blessed indeed are these two loving friends; 

They sleep through the night, 
in an embrace without end.
They have loved each other since birth, so they say; 
With strong, equal loves, 
alike all the way.

When Love came to them, they told him what to do: 
“Do the right thing, 
Love and split Love in two!”
So Love split himself, 
in two equal parts; Hard work! 
But no thwarting those strongly-knit hearts.

Their two souls became one soul, and then; 
That one soul lived in the two loving men.
These two don’t quarrel; 
they avoid any strife; 
They guard their love as more precious than life.

by Abu Nuwas, Persia, Circa 800 A.D.
*  *  *

For us, and for Dr. Franky Dolan & Randy Ordonio

Poem: Time to Stop and Stare

What is this life if full of care

We have no time to stand and stare?

No time to stand beneath the boughs

And stare as long as sheep, or cows.

No time to see, when woods we pass,

Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

No time to see, in broad daylight,

Streams full of stars, like skies at night.

No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,

And watch her feet, how they can dance.

No time to wait till her mouth can

Enrich that smile her eyes began.

A poor life this, if full of care,

We have no time to stand and stare.

© William Henry Davies 1871 – 1940

~ Contra Omnia Discrimina

Charles Hamilton Sorley: The Song of the Ungirt Runners

Posted from: Vale of Glamorgan CF64, UKWe swing ungirded hips,
And lightened are our eyes,
The rain is on our lips,
We do not run for prize.
We know not whom we trust,
Nor whitherward we fare,
But we run because we must,
Through the great wide air.

The waters of the seas,
Are troubled as by storm.
The tempest strips the trees,
And does not leave them warm.
Does the tearing tempest pause?
Do the tree-tops ask it why?
So we run without a cause,
‘Neath the big bare sky.

The rain is on our lips,
We do not run for prize.
But the storm the water whips,
And the wave howls to the skies.
The winds arise and strike it,
And scatter it like sand,
And we run because we like it,
Through the broad bright land.

© Charles Hamilton Sorley

contra omnia discrimina, amor vincit omnia